Giving the Stiff-Arm

Yes, I realize we are in the midst of March Madness. Even so, I have been thinking about a football move recently–the stiff-arm. My 9-year-old daughter has a love language of physical touch. She loves to give hugs, to cuddle, and to hang on you. My 13 year old’s love language is acts of service. She is not at all into the touchy-feely stuff. My younger daughter knows this about my older daughter and loves to torment her by trying to give hugs. My older daughter’s response is the stiff-arm–to not allow the younger daughter to get close enough for the mushy lovey stuff. I have been thinking about how this is like God pursuing us and our response is to keep Him at bay.
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Just Launch It!

About 16 months ago, I had a difficult time, wondering if I was doing what I should be doing (you can read about it here). That is why I began blogging. I had high hopes of perhaps starting to do private career coaching. I tried a class last winter and had two people attend most of the sessions. It was a little frustrating, but I tried. After that, I wasn’t sure what to do.

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Larry the Mentor

Early in my Junior High years, this guy in my small community rented out the attic of an old office building in town. It was a Friday night and he invited any junior high kid from the community to come and hang out–no cost unless you wanted to buy a can of pop or a candy bar pretty much at cost. On Saturday nights, he invited the high schoolers to come out. I remember a few friends hanging out at the bottom of the steps that first night it was open. No one was sure about going in. Finally, I took the lead and ascended the steps. There was music, games, televisions, and a pool table. There was likely some shag carpet in a variety of colors and textures and a room full of mismatched furniture. And there were a few adults, one of them was Larry. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Drive in the Snow

Do you like to drive in the snow? I do but know I am biased. My father drove a plow and my mother loved to drive in the snow. Whenever she talks about  the opportunity, she begins talking about her dad and how he taught her. I remember getting a couple of inches just days after I got my driver’s license. I was ready for a new adventure and asked my dad (because mom would have said no) if I could run to town. I was eager to try out this  new surface and see how I did in the 1980 four-speed Chevette that I drove at the time (I often shortened the name and just told people I drove a ‘vette’). Things were going fine until I needed to make my first turn and nearly ended up in the ditch, taking the turn too fast. Eventually, I got home just fine and without damage to the car.
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More or Less?

In the first eight years of our marriage, my wife and I lived in eight different locations. For the last eight years, we have had one address. When we moved from Indiana to North Carolina, all our possessions fit into a 12 foot box truck. Five years later (and one kid), it took a 30 foot truck to move to Ohio. Today, it may take two of those trucks to move our family of four, but I have no plans to find out for fear it would.


Table-Saw (Photo credit: Jóvan Jules ρнσтσgяαρну)

I often walk to our basement, attic, and garage and see tools and other items I have not used for a very long time, if ever. Many of the tools were from my dad after he passed away. I thought I was going to make a lot of items of wood. There are also workbenches, storage boxes, and extra wood from my father-in-law, all waiting around for me to do something with them. Most of it has been sitting around for at least three years, some as long as five or six years. Add to that the kites we flew four Easters ago that have not moved since, a child’s dresser we moved out of her room two years ago, and several items sitting in corners of the attic that have been there since we moved in.

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March: Lion or Lamb?

You know the idiom–March will come in as a lion and go out as a lamb. It refers to the weather. At the beginning of the month, the weather is cold, brutal and powerful. In four short weeks, it will be calm, warming, and peaceful (hopefully).

Today, I was enlightened to learn about a different lamb that many expected to be a lion. As he was born, people were looking for a lion, for someone to overthrow the current regime that had oppressed them and ruled harshly. But they got a lamb–a little baby, meek and mild, born in a barn.

Fast forward 30 or so years. This man comes into town for a national celebration. The people are waving palm branches–the symbol of their national pride. They shouted a slogan that means “give us freedom.” In the background, there is an increased presence of the military as this time of year commemorates their freedom from slavery under previous captors. As this man watches the goings on, he cries. He realizes that the citizens are seeking a lion to deliver their nation through peace and rebellion. In a few days, they will ask for the famous jailed insurgent to be freed

This man comes as a peaceful lamb. At a time where their national heritage has them choose a lamb to represent their family, this man comes to town in peace. He comes with a great love to deliver the people from those things oppressing them. Those things are personal and inward. They are not what other people and powers are doing to them, but what they are doing to themselves. This man comes to liberate their hearts. He cries because the people do not see that they are lost themselves. His time is nearly done yet there is more to accomplish.